ACT family globally celebrated Mohanji’s birthday in most loving ways. Here are brief accounts of various service initiatives through which we celebrate the Love that stands behind ACT and Mohanji as its founder.
ACT South Africa
Riana Gaspar: “South Africa kicked off Mohanji’s birthday celebrations at Shumbashaba. The day was simply magical and humbling for the volunteers. More than 145 children came to the celebration without prior notice of it being a special day. The children who arrived were really in need of food and care and everyone felt that Mohanji sent the needy. Most of the children were never seen before at Shumashaba. They received a warm meal, fruits, cake and a party pack. We thought we are celebrating his birthday by giving, but on Saturday Mohanji gave many gifts of the soul to us.
One random ACT of kindness touched our hearts. Celebrating Mohanji’s birthday an ACT SA volunteer felt a prompting to buy all the stock from a small vendor on the street totaling 800 rands and to then distribute all that he bought to the needy. The street vendor was in total disbelief when the volunteer started taking more and more of his stock on an extremely hot day. At the end he bought everything. The vendor was lost for words. People around noticed what happened and starting clapping. After the ACT volunteer loaded the car, the street vendor ran to others and started telling them what happened. It was an incredible experience that expanded our hearts.
On Saturday night it was raining heavily. While driving one of our volunteers noticed a blind old man who had fallen on the side of the road. He parked on the side and other two people also came to help. They lifted a blind man and asked how they can help?
Could they take him to the taxi or give him some money? He said “No, leave me here, I need to beg longer as I promised my daughter that I will collect enough for her school fees and I will not come home until I have enough.” Others gave him some money and our volunteer took the man in the car to rest a bit and asked him how much he needs for his daughter. He then gave him the full amount and drove him to the transport home.
It was like living a dream the way it all happened. Mohanji’s grace flowed through the volunteer. The awe and gratitude of a blind man completely transformed our volunteer. He said when you help someone you become as happy as they are!
ACT South Africa Youth Ambassadors from the children’s shelter organised a birthday party for the street children around the shelter. They had a meal, sandwiches, cakes and sweets. They received gift bags filled with cosmetics, little cakes, sweets and chips. They were very, very happy as can be seen from the photo.
Finally, charity packs with food and other goodies were distributed to needy in Johannesburg. A girl called Goodness was simply enchanted with her new blue handbag gift and expressed gratitude to Mohanji by lighting a candle of love for him.”
Devi Mohan: “ACT Serbia team celebrated Mohanji’s birthday at the children’s shelter (Svratište) in Belgrade. We barely managed to transport the mountain of donated clothes, shoes and toys that kept increasing till the last day, and also purchased various items that were marked as most needed (socks, underwear, hygiene items, hair dryers, etc.)
The cream on the top was a lovely heart-shaped cake that children enjoyed thoroughly and a white board on which they wrote beautiful expressions of love and gratitude. There were around 30 children aged 5-15 years. I shared with them the story of Ammu, a couple of breathing techniques and positive thinking methods that they can apply when they find themselves in difficult life situations. I also encouraged them to study well, expand their horizons and never miss an opportunity to be of help to others.
Their response was so sweet and the way Mila made friends with these children really touched my heart. One of our team members committed to volunteer at the shelter on regular basis.”
Zoran Stefanovski: “ACT Macedonia team opted for a unique initiative in honor of Mohanji on his birthday – it was an ecological initiative, cleaning up the Vodno mountain. We started off with 40 minutes of Conscious Walking in the woods of Vodno and then proceeded with the clean-up of one part of the mountain area.
The atmosphere was elevated throughout the gathering. We finished the event by cutting a vegan cake made especially for Mohanji along with Mohanji Aarti with best wishes for his wellbeing.”
Caroline Moscato: “It has been a great opportunity for the various Mohanji/ACT family members across Australia to unite in one of our first fundraising initiatives – at the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Center in Melbourne, a centre for refugees, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. As access to this center is difficult, we worked with a volunteer organisation called Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project. They regularly visit asylum seekers at this Centre and take required aid to the detainees.
Our volunteers (Ananth, Raksh) spent a good 1.5 hours with inmates from Sri Lanka. They said: “We took with us some biscuits, fruits, dates to be shared with them and few others who were around at that time meeting their family/ friends. The stories of how they survived a 20 day boat journey, the hardships, the unforgiving seas, etc., can never be expressed by words.”
Second initiative through which we celebrated Mohanji’s birthday was donation of food items by Smriti on behalf of ACT Foundation Australia and Mohanji Australia/ New Zealand family members who are working with the Sacred Heart Mission in Melbourne to assist people who are homeless or living in poverty.”
Viji Sagar: “In celebration of Mohanji’s birthday ACT USA volunteers and Mohanji Foundation USA members organized a food seva to feed the homeless in a shelter in Reston, Virginia. About 75 people were served a warm meal of spagetti, steamed broccoli and cheese, soup, rolls and cake. Furthermore, a donation was made to an animal shelter in India to serve food for the animals. Special thanks to Mohanji for the opportunity to participate in an activity of sharing.
Vijay Ramanaidoo: “ACT UK team celebrated Mohanji’s birthday by donating 1200 kilos of food to the poor. The homeless have been given most needed toiletries by ACT UK volunteers and food is being served on Mohanji’s birthday in Sri Lanka to poor villagers to whom required clothes are being shipped as well. We offer all activities at Mohanji’s feet and hope and pray that he may continue to sanctify our lives with his Grace.”
Nilesh Parekh: “Our fast growing ACT Canada team Breakfast drive for homeless people in Toronto”. They donated breakfast sandwiches along with cookies and juices for the homeless people in downtown Toronto
ACT to Stop Hunger
Today we also celebrate the 1st anniversary of a global ACT initiative – ACT to Stop Hunger. We started the global initiative to consolidate all the food distribution initiatives under one brand on 23rd Feb 2015. Within this one year we have fed about 50,000 people (excluding the tons of food delivered by UK and Serbia ACT teams in Kosovo).
Some ACT centres, like ACT South Africa, have continuous daily kitchen for underprivileged children. We hope to expand this further in other locations worldwide.
Deep gratitude to all our loving team members on their continuous commitment and sincere expressions of selfless love. Most importantly, deep gratitude to Mohanji who made all of this possible and kindled this love in our hearts.
With love eternal,